I don’t believe in luck or coincidence, flukes or karma. I believe in Divine Providence. I believe in a God who is not a spectator in our lives, but one who is intimately involved in each and every moment that we live and breathe. God has plans for us, plans for our good (Jeremiah 29:11). This God who loves us with a love that our puny, human minds cannot even imagine or perceive, is constantly using opportunities in our everyday life to enter into our minds and hearts, in order to make us aware of His presence and love.
This morning, I was feeling pretty good as I grabbed a cup of coffee and my prayer materials, looking forward to what God may have to say to me while I relaxed and, hopefully, found some peace in His holy presence. As I read through the scriptures of the day, I was a little distracted by the concerns of family and friends, and couldn’t stop myself from interspersing prayers for them in the midst of my contemplation. It was all good; I felt God understood and was listening attentively to my intercession for their needs.
As I sat, quiet and still on this lovely morning, in company with the Creator, watching my English bull dog chase the shadows of the birds at the feeders, and petting my sweet rescue, Rosie, who was lying by my side, I heard the sound of the Purple Martins calling to one another and glanced up to see a group of about 12 of them soaring and gliding high above the tall trees near my Gazebo. I manage 26 nesting gourds for the Martins who return every year to raise their young. The month of June is the time when all of the fledglings from the gourds are at different stages of learning to fly and hunt from their doting parents. It is so wonderful to witness new life unfolding in the natural world.
Joy filled my heart as I watched the parents place the fledglings in the tallest tree tops, where they would be safe. The fledglings watched mom and dad soaring and gliding, coming back to them every now and then with a tasty tidbit to share. All the while, as they watched, the babies were being trained in the art of how to hunt for bugs, (Martins only eat on the fly-no seeds for them), and the proper way to fly. Gratitude filled my heart as I watched the show, knowing that it was presented by a loving God, just for me. No, I don’t believe that it was luck that the Martins chose the two trees within my personal viewing area from the patio, out of all the trees on my 14 acres and the 80 acres of forest behind me, to feed their young. This extraordinary occasion was an embrace, an invisible kiss, an “I love you,” from my personal savior. Hope and love soared in my heart and I felt as if I was flying just as high as the birds in the sky. That is the way the touch of Heaven, a special moment of recognition of God’s love for me, always makes me feel.
At long last I am beginning to feel better, and with the end of chemo for now, the expectation is that brighter days are on the horizon. It’s amazing the change that feeling better does for one’s psyche and outlook on life. Looking back, I don’t know how I maneuvered through the challenges of the last five and a half months and still remain relatively sane and whole in body and spirit. No, that’s not true, it was my faith and the support of loving friends and family that gave me the strength to power through the most difficult of times.
My frame of mind is righting itself. As my body heals from the onslaught of poisons it has endured, so my outlook on the future is improving. I think it began yesterday as I wearily drove to get my weekly blood test at the cancer center. I was listening to the country gospel hymns station on Pandora when “Tomorrow” came on the playlist. What?! I’ve listened to this station for years and NEVER heard this song on it before. Grumpy and miserable from a week and a half of chemo trauma, it was just what I needed to hear. Yep, I think you may have guessed what I was thinking – it was a God-send. Singing along with the song, hope took flight!
I am blessed to have had many God moments in my life. Remembering those moments bolsters my lagging faith when the going gets rough. They are undeniable testaments to a loving God whose existence, companionship, and omnipresence is a certainty to me – no matter my circumstances.
My first encounters with God sparked a need within me to try to put to words how they made me feel. This is a poem I wrote after a moonlit walk with my now deceased basset hound on a freezing winter night when the sight of the star-studded night sky touched my soul.
THE TOUCH OF HEAVEN
The touch of Heaven comes to us in silence
So fleeting that we may not notice it
But it’s there despite our imperception
That feeling of complete and utter bliss
It comes upon us in a millisecond
When we kiss our precious ones hello
And other times when Heaven seems to beckon
The sun and sky put on a dazzling show
In the moment, we may hardly notice
Our spirit’s grasping for the world unseen
Its reaching and its yearning and its hoping
To be touched by that great Godly Being
When recognition slowly dawns upon us
Our eyes are opened to the one above
The knowledge that we’ve always been together
And that feeling of completeness is His love